Cybex Balios S Combo Review
Pros: Easier car seat connection, better maneuverability
Cons: 5 lb storage bin max, thicker fold, price
Compare to Similar Products
Our Analysis and Test Results
In 2014, Cybex launched in Germany within the Goodbaby International Holdings Ltd. company. The company strives for innovative products with safety and functionality at its core. They currently make car seats, strollers, and carriers for baby.
Ease of Attaching Car Seat
This stroller only works with Cybex car seats and we tested ours with the Cybex Aton 2. The infant carrier attaches to the Balios frame (below left) where the toddler seat attaches using the same adapters (below right). This design means there is nothing extra to buy or lose. You do need to remove the toddler seat, but this is quick and relatively painless.
Aligning the two sides simultaneously is the most painful part of this attachment, but it isn't as challenging as some of the competition and it won't require two people or tissue to stop the frustration crying. It attaches fairly easily and you can't install it incorrectly. We didn't like how it releases but overall that isn't a fault so much as a preference.
Weight and Folded Size
The Balios isn't the lightest stroller to pair with your car seat given its weight sans seat of 18.2 lbs. However, it isn't one of the heavier options either. While most new moms will want to skip something this heavy, some parents may not mind lugging it around considering some options weigh over 20.
This stroller is also one of the larger options in this category that often includes smaller folded strollers as many lose their seats to become car seat compatible. The Balios is 12,456 cubic inches when folded.
This product has single wheels on each front leg with plastic tires (above left). The wheels can lock in place (above right)to help keep the stroller on track over uneven surfaces, butter plastic makes the going rougher than it needs to be if all the wheels had been rubber. Overall, the Balios pushes and turns well on flat surfaces without any issues, but moving over grass and gravel is more challenging.
Ease of Use
This option demonstrates below average ease of use compared to the competition.
Fold and Unfold
The Cybex folds in half using a button on the handlebar. It locks in place automatically and self-stands for easier stowing. This product can roll like luggage when folded and has a carry handle on the top of the fold for this purpose.
The single-action brakes on the Balios function with a rocker pedal. In our tests the brakes are stiff and the stroller rolls forward when we press the pedal. You'll need to hold the handlebar to prevent the stroller from escaping when you set the brake. Releasing the brakes is easier and sandal foot-friendly as you do not need to lift from the bottom.
This product has a large storage bin (above left) with great open access all-around. The maximum weight allowance is 11 lbs. As some of the competition have limits closer to 20 lbs, this seems low but still the average. It also sports a side frame cup holder (above right) big enough for a taller water bottle.
To attach the car seat carrier you first need to remove the toddler seat/canopy from the frame, so there is no shade when paired with the car seat.
Ease of Setup
It took almost 9 minutes to assemble the Balios. It is neither difficult nor easy, but it took longer than some of the more straightforward competition.
The included documentation is multi-language mashed together which is hard to follow, but there are worse directions in the stroller world.
The Balios quality is average compared to the competition; for the price, it probably won't disappoint you. Overall, it looks stylish but the materials and detail are slightly subpar when lined up side-b-side with the stiff competition. This stroller sports plastic front wheels and somewhat coarse fabric, which are just two details to demonstrate what is comparatively lacking. On the other hand, the wheels and frame both feel sturdy without any wobble.
— Wendy Schmitz, and BabyGearLab Review Team